'He needs to have a bit more fire in his belly' - Former Leeds United hero's advice for Jordan Stevens after Swindon Town loan
Jordan Stevens has been advised to realise how fortunate he is to be at a club like Leeds United by former Whites hero John Sheridan.
The winger was already on loan at Swindon Town in League One when Sheridan was appointed as manager, making it four clubs in a year for the 56-year-old, who was sacked by Chesterfield at the start of 2020, managed Waterford in Ireland and then Wigan Athletic, before moving to the Robins.
Under his tenure Stevens started two of 11 games before the loan deal was terminated by mutual agreement and he moved to Bradford City instead.
Sheridan's parting advice for the 20-year-old was to have more determination to succeed and to understand how privileged he is to belong to a club with the size and stature of Leeds United, one he himself represented 230 times in league action, becomine a fan favourite.
“I just don’t think it’s worked out for him. He was here before I arrived, but he hasn’t played a lot of games since I arrived," said the Swindon boss.
“Jordan is a young kid who really needs to realise how lucky he is to be at a club like Leeds United. For Jordan’s sake – and this is me being honest to him – he needs to have a bit more fire in his belly and realise how fortunate he is to be a young footballer at a massive club, in my eyes."
The key for Stevens, in Sheridan's opinion, is to relish his job.
“More than anything, he needs to enjoy being a player," he said.
“If he does that, and comes into work on a daily basis with a smile on his face while saying to himself how lucky he is, I think it will help him wherever he goes next in his career.”
Stevens will spend the rest of the season alongside fellow Leeds youngster Bryce Hosannah at Valley Parade.
Last season he was named among Marcelo Bielsa's substitutes 15 times in the Championship and made four appearances off the bench.
His 2019/20 campaign was interrupted by a six-week ban over betting activities that the club felt was 'disproportionate' given the low level of his gambling - his total stake from 59 bets was £510.12 - and the difficulties he was encountering off the pitch.
Leeds' head of performance and medicine Rob Price told an independent commission that Stevens had struggled with boredom, homesickness and anxiety.